Welcome to our rebooted “Beacon Behind the Books” series! In these times when readers are responding to our books “more than ever,” when our authors—including Aubrey Gordon, Tanya Katerí Hernández, Robin D. G. Kelley, Angela Saini, Eboo Patel, and Gayl Jones—are appearing in the media, their ideas going viral on social media, their voices being heard on so many platforms, we thought it would be good to take a break to focus on some of the staff who work hard to find, shape, edit, produce, and promote those works. Our blog series introduces to you a staff member and gives you a behind-the-scenes look, department by department, at what goes on at our office.
For the month of May, we introduce you to Frankie Karnedy, our sales and marketing assistant!
What drew you to publishing, Frankie? How did you find your way to Beacon?
When I first began exploring career possibilities in back high school, I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to work in publishing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a children’s author, but even back then, the practical side of me knew I would also need to find a day job I was equally passionate about to support myself. Considering my lifelong obsession with books, publishing was the obvious choice!
During my junior year of college, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern at Rubin Pfeffer Content Literary Agency under Melissa Nasson, who also serves as Beacon’s contracts director. I heard a bit about Beacon and their mission while working for her, so when I started looking for jobs in the Boston area after graduation and saw there was a sales and marketing assistant position open here, I immediately knew I wanted to go for it.
What’s a typical day in the life of a sales and marketing assistant like?
One of the great things about being a sales and marketing assistant is that every day can look pretty different. I typically start by sorting through my inbox. As part of the foreign rights team, I usually have several emails from agents we work with around the globe to license Beacon books to publishers abroad. After responding to those inquiries, I turn to a variety of different tasks depending on whatever is most pressing. This could be updating the metadata that will feed out to online retailers, assembling materials for launches and sales conferences, coordinating Goodreads giveaways, creating back ad copy for galleys, and more.
You’ve recently attended conferences with your colleagues. Tell us more about those experiences and how they add to your work.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Organization of American Historians (OAH) conference in Los Angeles this March, and it was an amazing experience. This was one of my first chances to talk directly with some of the people who buy our books. It was so rewarding to see the impact Beacon titles have and hear educators and other attendees talk about how they use Beacon books in their classrooms and beyond. These one-on-one conversations I had have definitely reshaped the way I approach our books from a marketing and sales perspective. Talking directly with people allowed me to learn which aspects of a title resonated most with the people who stopped by our booth, as well as hear from readers themselves about the topics that intrigue and excite them.
What helps you focus when you’re working?
There is nothing I love more than making lists. I have my Outlook calendar where I keep track of my deadlines and other to-do items, but something about the act of physically writing things down (and most importantly, being able to physically cross them out) soothes my brain and keeps me focused in a way nothing else can.
What’s the next queued song on your music player?
“Would That I” by Hozier.
What are you reading right now?
I am a few chapters into Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, and I can tell it is already going to make it into my top ten books for this year. I highly recommend to anyone looking for a free-wheeling space opera with miserable gay necromancers and an extremely unreliable narrator. Do I have any idea what is going on in this book? No. Am I having fun? You bet.
Best vacation destination?
I have a massive sweet tooth, so anything with chocolate immediately goes to the top of the list.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.
And a little more about Frankie Karnedy
Frankie Karnedy joined Beacon Press in 2022 after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Writing Seminars and English. Previously, she interned at a literary agency and worked with children and teens at her local library. When she’s not trying to get to the bottom of her endless TBR list, she enjoys taking dance classes and baking fun desserts.